I’m Amy from the blog Atta Girl Says, and I’m thrilled to be a contributor at seven thirty three.
Each month, I’ll be sharing a new home decor idea, project or tutorial. This gig is right up my alley because I’m always changing things up at my home. And the focus of my blog is sharing ideas to make your home brighter and your heart lighter.
Today, I’m sharing an easy tutorial for creating gilded seashells in shades of gold, brass and silver.
After falling out of favor for a while, brass and goldtones are back in style in a big way. So, this project is definitely on trend.
I experimented with several different techniques to create these gilded metallic seashells. I used both gold leaf sheets and liquid gilding, and I really can’t decide which I like best.
They’re all so pretty, especially when mixed with natural seashells.
The easiest method, by far, is to use liquid gilding.
I used the Martha Stewart brand, which comes in four colors at the craft store — gold, brass, copper and silver. I used brass and silver to create my seashells.
All you do is brush it on with a paintbrush. The liquid gilding dries quickly, which is a bonus. I think it looks best on more textured shells, like the ones you see in the forefront of the photo above. The texture of the shells gave the metal dimension and made it look more authentic, in my opinion.
While the liquid gilding is quick and easy to use (and is virtually no mess), I love the rich look you can create using gold leafing.
When using gold leafing, your first step is to coat your shell with a thin layer of adhesive size — a thin, ultra-sticky glue. You need to let the adhesive size dry for 20 to 40 minutes, until the surface of your shell is tacky or sticky, but not dry.
Then, very gently lay a sheet of gold leaf over your shell.
Use a soft, clean, dry paintbrush or a soft rag to burnish the gold leaf onto the surface and remove any excess.
If you missed any spots, you may have to reapply more adhesive size and repeat the leafing process.
Over time, gold leaf will develop a patina, so you need to seal it. Most gold leafing starter kits come with a sealer. You can also use a spray sealer.
There are all kinds of ways you can decorate with gilded seashells. They look great in a bowl, mixed with natural seashells, or piled atop books.
Some larger gilded shells would make gorgeous bookends. And could you imagine a mirror decorated in gilded seashells?
Or you could just put them in a jar on the back of the toilet. Isn’t that everyone’s favorite spot to display seashells?
Thanks to Kim for letting me share this project on seven thirty three today.
Kim is a Marketing Director by day and Crafter/Blogger by night. She lives with her husband, three beautiful children, and shih-tzu, Mushu. For even more Inspiration Made Simple, like her on Facebook, Instagram+, or follow along via Twitter!
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